Justice Alito: Self-Defense is 'The Central Component' of the 2nd Amendment

Justice Alito: Self-Defense is 'The Central Component' of the 2nd Amendment

With the war against self-defense currently being waged via the Democrat-led attack on “Stand Your Ground” laws, it’s important to revisit Associate Justice Samuel Alito’s words from McDonald v Chicago (2010): “Individual self-defense is ‘the central component’ of the 2nd Amendment right.”

McDonald v Chicago was a case brought by Otis McDonald against gun bans that prevented him from having a firearm with which to defend his life and property.

Alito wrote the majority opinion for the court on that decision, and in it he stressed how the right to keep and bear arms and the right to self-defense are two sides of the same coin in the 2nd Amendment. 

He even went so far as to say that the most preferred weapon with which to defend oneself in America is a handgun, thus “[the court] concluded, ‘citizens must be permitted to use handguns for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.'”

Because of the parameters of the case, Alito’s focus was on having a handgun in the home, but in December 2012 the 7th Circuit Court explained that the right to defense is applicable beyond the home and is actually “as important outside the home as inside.”

Alito bolstered the decision in McDonald v Chicago by pointing to how “the 1689 English Bill of Rights explicitly protected a right to keep arms for self-defense.” He looked at William Blackstone’s “assessment” that King George III’s attempt to disarm colonists in the 1760’s and 1770’s “provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep and bear arms.” 

According to Alito, when the Bill of Rights were composed the federalists and anti-federalists alike “agreed that the right to keep and bear arms was fundamental to the newly formed government.” 

The 2nd Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms. And “self defense is ‘the central component'” of that right. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins 


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